The Anonymous Widower

‘Assassination List’ A&E Doctor Jailed For 12 Years

The title of this post5 is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

A former A&E consultant has been jailed for 12 years for possessing firearms with intent to endanger life.

Dr Martin Watt, who worked at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie from 1994, was sacked in 2012 following disciplinary proceedings.

The 62-year-old was later found with three sub-machine guns, two pistols, ammunition and an “assassination list” of those he blamed for his dismissal.

Why do guns make people lose their minds?

I find this a chilling tale!

 

April 5, 2018 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments

New Istanbul Tram Line To Be Catenary-Free

The title of this post, is the same as that in this article on Global Rail News.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Contractor Dogus Construction has selected Alstom to supply a full APS ground-level power supply solution for the Eminönü-Alibeyköy tram line in Istanbul.

Choosing Alstom’s street-level power rail solution means that the 10km-long line will be entirely catenary-free.

I suspect, catenary-free will become the norm, either using systems like in Istanbul or batteries like the Midland Metro.

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Improved Public Transport Cut Crime?

London is going through a murder epidemic at the moment, mainly with knives and a couple of guns.

I’m not worried about it, as why would anybody bother a seventy-year-old man, who doesn’t have the best dress sense?

But I wasn’t always old and I can remember the 1950s and 1960s, where things weren’t as idyllic, as those who voted Brexit like to think.

A friend of mine was a policeman in the East End in those days and he has some interesting tales.

Return To Dalston

I moved to Dalston in 2010, after the deaths of my wife and our thirty-seven year-old son from cancer, and a serious stroke, which left me with damaged eyesight and unable to drive.

You might ask, why I moved from deepest Suffolk to a slightly run-down area of London? Free public transport was a big draw!

A hundred and thirty years ago, all my grandparents and lots of relatives lived in this area.

My paternal grandmother would shop in the Marks and Spencer and the Woollies at the Angel, as I still do, although the Woollies is now a Waitrose.

This part-Jewish, part-Huguenot, part-Devonian, very stubborn London mongrel has come home!

An Observation

When I moved here, if I walked down Kingsland High Street, at times, the pavements were crowded with youths with nothing better to do. I wasn’t actually threatened, but I would avoid the area.

Now, the street is probably more crowded, but everybody is going about their business or pleasure in a calm manner.

I can only speculate about why the atmosphere has changed, but there has been two major developments.

  • The Overground has arrived to replace the travelling urinals of the North London Line and provide new services to the City and South London.
  • Most of the bus routes now have new buses.

Local people even got excited, that Hackney and Dalston got the first of the New Routemasters on route 38.

Have those young people from Dalston, now found better things by using public transport, such as work or a pleasureable leisure activity?

Research needs to be done, but there’s nothing on the Internet.

The Rise Of Dalston

I truly believe that the rise of Dalston has been created by the better public transport.

Who would have wanted to live in the new flats or the old Victorian houses, if you couldn’t get to work?

We’re now in an upward spiral, as property is improved, businesses are created and restaurants and cafes open.

The Next Experiment

Several major rail projects are underway in North and North East London.

It will be very informative, to see whether crime is lower or higher in a couple of years.

 

Conclusion

Improving public transport is one of these measures, that benefits a wide range of people; the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed and families with children.

It may also encourage those, who might drift into gangs and crime, to do something more worthwhile.

Lots of other places in the UK are getting or need the same treatment as Dalston has received.

  • The West London Orbital Railway could invigorate North West London.
  • Kirkby to Skelmersdale, would connect the latter town to Liverpool.
  • Newcastle is planning to reopen the railways to Ashington and Blyth.
  • Birmingham is expanding passenger railways on reopened and freight lines.

The future could be fascinating.

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Heathrow Southern Railway And The Windsor Link Railway

The Windsor Link Railway is a proposed new railway, that if it is approved, will be built in two phases.

Phase 1 is described in Wikipedia, like this.

Phase 1 of the scheme would run from Slough to Staines, via Chalvey, Windsor, Datchet, Wraysbury and Sunnymeads. A new all-in-one station in the Windsor Goswells would replace the existing two nearby stations (Riverside and Central)

Phase 2 is described like this.

Phase 2 of the project involves linking to Heathrow. As the Heathrow Airtrack scheme has been dropped by BAA, the proponents say a much cheaper method of connecting Heathrow to the north west, west and south would be via a bridge over the M25. This would also have benefits for the proposed intermodal freight depot at Colnbrook, Berkshire.

This map from the Windsor Link Railway web site, shows the new tracks for both phases.

Note that Southern Access on the map is close to the route of the Heathrow Southern Railway.

Thoughts On Phase 1

Phase 1 is mainly a scheme for Windsor and I believe, it could be very beneficial to a town, that will become an even bigger tourist attraction.

It is a scheme, that has no affect on the construction of the Heathrow Southern Railway.

However, if the Windsor Link Railway wanted to increase the frequency of the train service between Windsor and Eton Central and Waterloo, there may well be arguments over who gets the paths on the crowded lines between Staines and London.

Thoughts On Phase 2

If the Heathrow Southern Railway and Windsor Link Railway designed a joint scheme, I don’t believe there is any reason, why trains couldn’t use the Windsor Link Railway to run between Reading and Heathrow.

Capacity Of Heathrow Terminal 5 Station

Heathrow Terminal 5 station has been built with space for two bay platforms.

Each platform could probably handle four trains per hour (tph), although with the right scheduling and good signaling and operation, six tph is possible.

Heathrow Southern Railway proposes the following services to the terminal.

  • Four tph from Waterloo via Clapham Junction and Staines.
  • Two tph from Weybridge via Viginia Water, Egham and Staines.

So there could be upwards of four tph from Windsor and/or Reading, that terminate at Terminal 5.

Crossrail To Reading Via Windsor And Heathrow

Somebody will want to run Crossrail trains through Heathrow Terminal 5 to Windsor and Reading.

Would Windsor cope with all the extra visitors?

Note that Heathrow Southern Railway are already suggesting that Crossrail trains to Terminal 5 could be extended to a new platform at Staines.

Waterloo To Reading Via Staines, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Windsor

Suppose two tph of the Waterloo to Heathrow Terminal 5 trains, reversed and went on to Windsor and Reading.

  • It could make better use of the platforms at Heathrow.
  • Reading would have an additional two tph service to Heathrow.
  • Windsor would have a four tph service to Waterloo.

It’s a possibility with benefits.

Conclusion

Co-operation could be beneficial to both projects.

 

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 9 Comments

Heathrow Southern Railway And West London Orbital Railway

West London waits umpteen years for more rail lines and then two come along at the same time.

Heathrow Southern Railway

West London Orbital Railway

Both do substantially, what their names imply.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the tracks between Feltham, Hounslow and Whitton stations.

Note.

  1. Heathrow Southern Railway’s proposed Heathrow – Clapham Junction – Waterloo service will probably go via Whitton, rather than the Hounslow, as Whitton is the faster route.
  2. Hounslow is the proposed terminus of the route of the West London Orbital Railway from West Hampstead Thameslink station.
  3. Hounslow will have a new East-facing bay platform, to handle the trains from West Hampstead.
  4. Heathrow Southern Railway have said their service between Heathrow and Waterloo will be four trains per hour (tph)

I suspect that the West London Orbital Railway will have a typical Overground frequency of four  tph.

Unfortunately, the two railways don’t meet up, as it would probably be worthwhile to give more stations a simple route to Heathrow with perhaps a change at Feltham station.

This Google Map shows Feltham station.

Would there be space to squeeze in an East-facing bay platform on the North side of the station?

  • It could be the terminus of the West Hampstead service of the West London Orbital Railway
  • It could be useful if there were operational problems to turn trains.
  • There is the advantage that Feltham is a step-free station and Hounslow isn’t.

I went to Feltham station and took these pictures.

By the side of the track on the other side of the road bridge to the station, is the Feltham Signalling Centre and a Network Rail yard.

I think it could be possible to fit a platform into the space, behind Platform 1.

  • A five-car platform looks possible.
  • It would be an island platform with the current Platform 1.
  • I doubt overhead electrification could be used.
  • Slab track might be needed to squeeze the train under the bridge.

Ideally, it should be able to take a ten-car train, which might be possible, by extending the platform to the other side of the bridge.

Currently, there are six tph each-way through the station. The following new services will be added if both the Heathrow Southern and West London Orbital Railways are built.

  • 4 tph – Heathrow Southern Railway’s proposed service between Heathrow Terminal 5 and Waterloo via Staines, Feltham, Twickenham, Richmond and Clapham Junction.
  • 4 tph – West London Orbital’s proposed service from Feltham to West Hampstead

Would modern trains and signalling, coupled with good driving, be able to handle this level of trains?

Looking at the tracks and the space on either side, it might be possible to thread a third track between Feltham Station and Feltham Junction.

This Google Map shows Feltham Junction

There would appear to be more space on the South side of the tracks, so perhaps an extra track could go on this side.

But I suspect Network Rail could find a solution from their library of cunning plans.

There could be advantages.

  • West London Orbital Railway could terminate in a step-free station.
  • Travellers between South Acton and Hounslow get a step-free route to Heathrow.
  • The bay platform at Feltham, could help when the service is disrupted.
  • An extra track to the East of Feltham, might help capacity between Clapham Junction and Staines.

I’m certain that be a simple connection between the two systems can be built.

Conclusion

There are possibilities to connect the West London Orbital Railway to the Heathrow Southern Railway, which could be beneficial for all parties.

 

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment